AAS: index of zookeeper experiences

I’m back from the AAS meeting in Austin. Last week, Chris and I reported on some of our experiences at the meeting; I know many of you said you wished you could be there, so we wanted to give you a peek at what a scientific meeting was like. There were a lot of posts flying furiously, so this is an index of what we reported on, both here and on Chris’s blog. For more perspectives on the goings-on at the meeting, see the Astronomy Cast LIVE blog. The meeting went from Tuesday to Friday, so this is indexed by day.


Chris wrote about the search for extrasolar planets, both the progress being made and the postponement of some other missions.

Then, Chris posted some highlights of research presented on Tuesday, including three results that have implications for Galaxy Zoo: a study of the importance of classifying galaxies by eye, the discovery of a spiral galaxy that appears to rotate backwards, and the discovery of a voorwerp-like blue blob.


Chris posted some beautiful images of the infrared sky from the UKIRT.

Then, Jordan posted about his experiences at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey booth, answering questions about the survey while wearing a chef’s hat. The purpose of the hat was to advertise a session called “Cooking with Sloan,” which served up hot and fresh galaxy images like the ones you see on Galaxy Zoo.

Chris posted again, about how observers and theorists are both making important contributions to the study of extrasolar planets.

At the end of the day, Chris posted about a talk he went to with the intriguing title of How Astronomers Die.


Thursday was the day of the Galaxy Zoo poster presentation – much more about this tomorrow. We were busy in the morning, but several posts appeared in the afternoon.
First, Jordan posted about pub conversations with a researcher at the University of Alaska Anchorage about the role of scientific research in science education.

Next, Kate and Anze posted about the initial results of the Galaxy Zoo bias study, finding that the apparent excess of anticlockwise galaxies has something to do with human perception and not the universe. They also share some ideas about what we’re doing next.

Then, Chris posted twice in a row, about a study of a galaxy supercluster, then about an interview with him posted on Youtube.

Then, Jordan proudly noted that his chef’s hat had been complimented by a Nobel prize recipient, and later added a slightly embarrassing picture.


Friday was Chris’s talk about the science results from Galaxy Zoo – more on that tomorrow as well.

Then, Kevin posted about one of the fascinating and unexpected results of Galaxy Zoo – Hanny’s voorwerp.

We hope you enjoyed our coverage of AAS. The next meeting is in St. Louis in early June; whichever of us is going to that will try to provide you with coverage of that meeting too.

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2 responses to “AAS: index of zookeeper experiences”

  1. Pico says :

    Given the otherwise choice jottings on your blog and the vastness of the heavens, what I have to say is a very small matter indeed, far smaller even than a wart on a mite’s arse. However, respect for accuracy does often include the miniscule, so I must point out that twice you’ve gotten the name of Travis Rector’s (and my) institution wrong.
    It is NOT the University of Alaska – Anchorage, nor the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
    Rather the correct designation is University of Alaska Anchorage — sans any punctuation whatsoever. Having learned that bit of pedantry and many others, you’re now free to contemplate the miraculous. And thank you to the Zookeepers.

  2. Steven says :

    We strive for accuracy! All occurrences fixed now.

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